The photo on the left is the only documented shot of the Phynnodderee, a tortured spirit which roams the highlands of the Isle of Man.
It was taken in 1926 by Gideon Whitfullington-Phorcast, a housemaster at King William’s College, as he was shooting pheasants on Snaefell. He later told the Mona’s Gazette newspaper: “It was a hell of a beast, hairy and shaggy – looked a bit French if you ask me. It took one look at Lucy, my gun, and turned tail. Damned coward, what? I barely managed to get a shot off at the blighter.”
But it was that one shot that is said to have sealed Whitfullington-Phorcast’s doom. The Phynnodderee doesn’t like people who take pot-shots at him, and the teacher vanished one day whilst out rambling. He was never seen again and was said to have been taken by the Phynnodderee.
The legend surrounding the beast is an interesting one. It’s said that an Elven knight fell in love with a woman from Peel who’d given her virtue to him a little bit too easily.
Like most of the women in the Sunset City, she proved something of a nag, and was continually complaining that he was out til all hours carousing and drinking and debauching with the other faeries.
After they’d been in love for some months, it was time for the Rehollys vooar yn ouyr, the annual royal high harvest festival which was marked by a huge faerie feast at Glen Rushen.
But his Manx fishwife refused to let him go and made him stay in their house at Peel to put up shelves, change fuses and other such petty tasks. But this was his downfall – his absence offended the Elfin King, who cursed him and banished him from the faerie kingdom forever.
Now, he lives on, undying, doomed to wander the Manx mountains as a strange, sad, solitary wanderer. He is said to be something between a man and a beast, covered with black shaggy hair and having fiery eyes. Many stories are related by the Manx peasantry of his prodigious strength and his never-ending quest for the hidden gates to the faerie kingdom.
Still more stories are told about English fools who arrive in the Isle of Man to hunt the Phynnodderee and the hidden treasure of the dowry he never had the chance to pay for his wife. Seeking out the Phynnodderee, it’s said, is like asking the Devil to turn Hell’s heating up.
Labels: faerie, fairy, Gideon Whitfullington-Phorcast, isle of man, isle of man manx, king william's college, legends, Mona’s Gazette, Peel, Phynnodderee, snaefell
Written at 13:49 by
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